Mediation Basics

7 Proven Steps to Start Creating An Excellent Mediation Brief

Attorneys receive lots of training and spend countless hours practicing to prepare winning appellate briefs, arguments, and summary judgment motions. With that said, it’s important to also focus on mediation brief. Unfortunately, mediation briefs are either overlooked, prepared at the last minute, or both. However, mediation briefs have much more of an influence on the mediation process than you might think.

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Pre-Mediation Conferences

I’ve handled any number of mediations where the parties and counsel view prospects for settlement with optimism. Lately, I’m seeing more and more pre-mediation conferences being held in complicated cases or cases where the prospects of settlement seem less likely.

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ABA Conference Sessions You Might Enjoy

I love the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution annual conferences. They always put on a wide array of wonderful sessions and it’s a great time to connect with friends, old and new. As in the past, I am listing some sessions that particularly intrigue me. 

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Don’t Take Special for Granted

My posts typically deal with insights I’ve gained in my career as a mediator. That said, mediation is what I do. It’s not who I am. I’m a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a lawyer, a partner, a Christian — and so many other things, in addition to being a mediator. In that regard, you’re the same as I am. The many different hats you wear in life contribute to who you are, and what’s genuinely important to you.

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Supreme Court Will Examine Difference Between “Arbitrability” and “Jurisdiction”

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to review the decision of the 1st Circuit in Oliveira v. New Prime, Inc. (No. 15-2364, May 12, 2017).   One of the issues before the Court is particularly interesting:  Whether a delegation clause vesting in an arbitrator questions of arbitrability of a claim has the effect of removing from a court any power to determine whether the court has jurisdiction to grant a motion to compel arbitration.

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Creative Uses Of Mediation

Most of my readers are lawyers. Many of you are litigators — for whom mediation has become a preferred tool for resolving most of your cases. Typically, I’m assuming, you see mediation as a process where you can confidently come together with other parties involved in litigation, call a timeout, and determine if the parties can reach an agreement to resolve the case. This is how I’m asked to lead mediations about 95% of the time.

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When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

I would say all of those cases were ripe for mediation at the time I was asked to mediate them. How can that be? Simple. In each case, the attorneys/parties had the right information, and a strong enough desire to settle, in order to make good decisions. Could those cases, which were further into the judicial process, have been resolved sooner? Possibly. But in retrospect, I don’t think they were ready until we mediated them.

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Objections to Joint Sessions

“Joint sessions are a waste of time,” said the judge conducting a mediation in which I was representing one of the parties. In that mediation I was asking for a joint session, but the judge still blocked us from doing one because the other side would not agree….

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